Published on July 07, 2023
Active Listening and Inclusive Meetings Create Psychologically Safe Environments for Innovation and Creativity
In today's workplace, where teams are increasingly diverse, it is more important than ever to create psychologically safe environments where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas. This is where active listening, communication and inclusive meetings come in.
When communicating with others, it is important to take into account the other person's needs and preferences. Listening is a key skill that helps us understand the perspectives, feelings and needs of others. Active listening means actually paying attention to and understanding what the other person is saying, rather than just waiting for your own opinion. This includes paying attention to nonverbal signals, asking appropriate questions, and responding affirmatively to show concern and respect for the other person.
Inclusive meetings are meetings where everyone feels comfortable participating and contributing. This means that everyone has a voice, regardless of their position, background, or personality. Inclusive meetings are essential for fostering innovation and creativity because they allow everyone to share their ideas and perspectives, which can lead to new and better solutions.
There are a number of things that leaders can do to create psychologically safe environments and inclusive meetings. These include:
- Set clear expectations. Make sure everyone knows what is expected of them in the meeting, such as the purpose of the meeting, the topics that will be discussed, and the ground rules for participation.
- Encourage everyone to participate. Ask open-ended questions, invite everyone to share their thoughts, and make sure everyone has a chance to speak.
- Listen actively. Pay attention to what people are saying, both verbally and nonverbally. Ask clarifying questions and summarize what you have heard.
- Be respectful of everyone's contributions. Even if you disagree with someone, it is important to respect their right to their opinion.
- Celebrate diversity of thought. Encourage people to share their different perspectives and ideas. This can lead to new and better solutions.
Leaders can also play a role in creating a psychologically safe environment by being accountable for their own actions. This means being aware of how their words and actions impact others, and being willing to apologize when they make mistakes. It also means being open to feedback from others and being willing to change their behavior if necessary.
Finally, leaders can help to create healthier team dynamics by being aware of fear indicators. These are signs that someone is feeling unsafe or uncomfortable, such as withdrawing from conversations, avoiding eye contact, or fidgeting. When leaders see these indicators, they can take steps to address the underlying issue and create a more positive and supportive environment.
By practicing active listening and holding inclusive meetings, leaders can create psychologically safe environments where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas. This can lead to innovation, creativity, and better decision-making.
More can be read here https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/a-practical-approach-to-addressing-barriers-to-physical-activity/202010/3-things-good